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Wednesday Kickoff: Bayern crowned Bundesliga champs; UEFA considering new tourney; and more

BayernCelebrateBundesligaTitle1-2014 (AP)


Bayern Munich continue to make history.

The German super-club clinched the Bundesliga title with seven games remaining on Tuesday evening with a 3-1 victory at Hertha Berlin, breaking the record for the fastest-ever league title.

It’s the club’s 24th league title (23rd Bundesliga title) and first under manager Pep Guardiola.

“I am pleased and very happy that we have sealed the title,” Guardiola told reporters following the match. “In the league, you have to work hard every week. This title is important for the club and a product of our hard work. I would never have expected things to go this well. We had lots of problems in the first four, five months, and lots of injured players. But we have improved day by day.”

Toni Kroos, Mario Götze, and Franck Ribery scored for Bayern in the win in Germany’s capital, Berlin, while Adrian Ramos scored the lone goal for Hertha on a penalty kick. U.S. Men’s National Team defender John Brooks started and played 90 minutes in the defeat.

Here are some more stories to start off your Wednesday:


UEFA is considering a new international tournament that will run parallel to World Cup and European Cup qualifying, according to a report in The Telegraph.

The tournament would take the place of friendlies on open dates from qualifying matches. The report states that the tournament is expected to split the 54 UEFA nations into four groups with promotion and relegation, and England is expected to be grouped in a 16-team first division. From there, teams will be placed into groups of four and play each other on FIFA international dates where the teams aren’t in qualifying matches.

The winners of each of the four groups would then advance to a “final four” tournament at a neutral venue, set to take place in the summer of odd-numbered years. The 54 UEFA nations agreed to take part in this tournament, starting in 2018-2019, at the most recent UEFA congress.


Manchester City showed no signs of slowing down when facing Manchester United on Tuesday evening.

Old Trafford, once a fortress for Man United, felt more like the cozy confines of City’s Etihad Stadium as Edin Dzeko’s two goals led Man City to a comfortable 3-0 victory against their city rivals. The win propelled Man City into second place in the English Premier League for at least a day, before Liverpool take on Sunderland on Wednesday.

Down in London meanwhile, Arsenal were coasting to an important home win before an unlucky own-goal condemned Arsene Wenger’s club to a 2-2 draw with Swansea City. Arsenal scored twice in 66 seconds in the second half to take the lead after Wilfried Bony gave Swansea City the lead in the first half, but Mathieu Flamini got the last touch after Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny’s attempted clearance on a shot was deflected across the goal line.

Everton moved into fifth place with their fourth-straight win and first road victory in 2014, a 3-0 result at Newcastle.


Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos’ one-match red card ban was upheld, though the club have appealed the decision and have taken Ramos with them on their trip to Sevilla. (REPORT)

AS Roma unveiled a scale model of their new proposed stadium at a press conference on Wednesday, which they hope to have completed by 2016. (REPORT)

Everton manager Roberto Martinez says that Ross Barkley is ready to play for England at the 2014 World Cup. (REPORT)

Real Sociedad winger Antoine Griezmann has denied claims that he has signed a contract with Paris Saint-Germain ahead of a move this summer. (REPORT)

Inter Milan owner Erick Thohir has responded to reports of links with Edin Dzeko, Fernando Torres, and Alvaro Morata, saying he doesn’t know who Inter will sign but that they need a new striker. (REPORT)

Former Liverpool midfielder and Australian international Harry Kewell announced he will retire at the conclusion of the A-League season. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Impressed with Bayern’s season? Think they can win the UEFA Champions League? What do you think of the UEFA international tournament idea?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. So…
    World Cup every four years
    UEFA random cup between then
    World Cup qualifying
    Confederations Cup
    European Cup
    Euro qualifying

    Four international competitions every four year cycle plus two qualification competitions seems a bit much.

  2. I have a prediction. After next week’s friendly against Mexico we will no longer be seeing the name “Jake from State Farm”, who I believe we only began seeing in the last few days, in the comments at SBI.

    No, whoever the regular is who is going under this handle will simply pick another.

  3. My read is that they brought Green to the first team to see where he was in his development and Pep decided he wasn’t ready to even get trash minutes for Bayern. That’s is pretty understandable and no amount of first team training will speed the process up.
    What I don’t get is how people here think he’s ready to start in the World Cup based on what they read in the internet and three minutes of playing time and two touches on the ball as a pro.
    Remember Freddy Adu?

    • You’ve already been caught making things up a few times already. Just stop when you’re behind.

      You’ve been given evidence that not only disputes what you are claiming, but solidifies the opposite.

      Why are you so intent on lying about the life of a person you don’t know? Hatred? Bigotry?

      • Plus the guy from State Farm hasn’t a clue about Pep Guardiola and what Bayern has yet to do. Yes, Bayern won the Bundesliga however they play at Man. U next week, and against them at the Allianz the following week. Then, hopefully to the next round in CL.

        Pep has to keep his team playing at the highest level. Now is not the time for him to take it easy.

      • You got me. It’s hatred. Nothing gets by you but your medication time.
        The question stands, how can Green start in the WC if at the moment he’s just a German 4th division player?
        Try to keep the rethoric to a minimum this time.

      • “he’s just a German 4th division player?”

        “Try to keep the rethoric to a minimum this time”

        Take your own advice, kid.

      • That “at the moment” is a pretty key qualifier to omit.

        If you follow the green cheerleaders to their logical conclusion, a team of every 18 year old in the bayern program would beat the full usmnt. Seems like a stretch.

        We can all hope green makes the same impact that donovan did in 2002. But let’s maybe not pretend it will happen with complete certainty.

      • i don’t think the green “cheerleaders” are really any worse than the green “haters”. (both of those terms are hyperbolic, so whatever.)

        saying that green is ‘just a 4th division player’ is misleading. saying that it’s a foregone conclusion that he’ll start in brasil is misguided.

        whatever. hopefully he’ll get time in the mexico game, and it’ll help us all calm the f— down.

      • Where do the “reserve judgement until we’ve seen him in the context of a match” folks register?

        For now I’ll just put “cautiously optimistic” on my business cards.

      • i’m right there with you. people just don’t notice us unless we disagree with them for whatever reason.

      • Look, we all know Jake works for AmFam, Expat lives in Toledo, slowleftarm is The Big Unit and Nate pays in euros

  4. Regarding Julian’s getting first-team playing time with 7 matches left in the season. This Sat. is out, he will be probably flying to Arizona. 5 April is probably out also. He may, or may not, play in any of the last 5 matches.

    It is probably up to Pep and Sammer because at this point, the best interests of Bayern and the Bundesliga is that Julian play, and play good, for the USMNT. That is their main objective, his play at Bayern is taking 2nd place to that.

    And don’t worry, Bayern will not consider loaning Julian out to anyone for next season. Julian will be in the starting rotation then.

  5. I loved Harry Kewell as a player, shame he was hurt so often. What a talent…

    I still have fond memories of that Leeds squad before it imploded. Kewell, Viduka, Harte, Gary Kelly, Radebe, Bowyer, Rio, Alan Smith…

  6. Does this rediculous UEFA season mean the end of the mid-season friendlies ?

    Please ? Pretty please ?

  7. I heard Germany’s U17 called up Gedion Zelalem to play in the Uefa elite round. Germany is playing Georgia now, up 2-0, but Zelalem is not on their roster.

      • i’d like to think that, but i seriously doubt it.

        because neither of his parents are living in the usa anymore, he’d have to go to a lot of trouble to establish residency now. if he did turn down this callup, i’d assume it’s just so he doesn’t get needlessly tied down while he’s still exploring his options.

    • He says he won’t decide any time soon, and I believe him. He’s more focused on staying relevant with Arsenal. Once he’s established there, he’ll have no problems greasing the citizenship process. Athletes are and will always be considered special exceptions as they have special skills to benefit the nation. His father has already applied, but the process is stalled because Gedion needs his German passport to secure his work permit. If he finalizes American citizenship, it’s likely he loses his German citizenship, and might not be able to stay in England anymore. Club football is where you want to be, once you make it there, then you worry about international play and becoming a legend for your country. His most formative years were spent here, and I think he wants to be part of the generation that really puts USA on the global football map.

      He did turn down the call-up for the youth tournament (they wouldn’t call him only to drop him, he’s a standout player) and we can only imagine his reasons even if he states them, but it does seem that he would prefer to represent the US if he could keep his work permit. Klinsmann is all over it, so I feel confident that if it can be done it will be done.

  8. Bayern Munich will be the greatest team in soccer history should they complete the treble and win the Champions League and German Cup. Too bad Americans seem to still be focused on Man U, Arsenal, Barcelona ect, and have missed out on watching the club’s greatest season in Bundasliga history.

    • If Bayern goes undefeated in the Bundesliga, and wins the DFB Pokal and CL, no question it is the greatest season in football history. Still a ways to go though.

    • They have no domestic competition. Dortmund lost key players and no one else is even close. It’s just as bad as Spain, except in Spain the 2 teams at the top never change.

      • ???? Last I checked, Dortmund is in 2nd place and still alive in Champions League and the DFK Pokal. In the last 10 years in the Budeslinga, there have been 5 different winners, so therefore I would I disagree that the Bundesliga is not competitive.

    • I think that’s part of the point of all this. Platini is getting jealous of all the attention the club level is getting and wants the national teams to be back on the top of the heap.

  9. Now Julian green has no excuse if he doesn’t make the bench or get playing time. But the bad part about this is the Germans will be well rested for the WC the good side is we play the last so sucks to be Portugal

    • Green has only made the Bayern bench twice this season. Once for the CSKA UCL game where he played 3 minutes as a injury sub and once in the first game of the season where he didn’t play at all.
      The rest of this year he has spent playing 4th division with Bayern II.

    • If he’s a part of their future plans, sure. It would make sense, allow him to get out there and develop some chemistry with the team.

      Personally, I think he’s set for a loan next year and won’t come back (now that he’s ineligible for the national team). Pep can draw whoever he wants to that team, and won’t waste time trying to see if his unproven American talent is up to the elite level. I think he keeps playing with the reserves for the rest of this season. I don’t think he gets as raw a deal as Boyd did after declaring for USA (he was with Borussia Dortmund’s reserves prior to being shipped off to Austria, and a return to Dortmund looks like a pipe dream now), I think he will land with a Bundesliga club, maybe BMG.

      • Green was going to go on loan this year to be a starter at Hamburg, who really wanted him. The team that currently sits in 7th in the Bundesliga.

        But Guardiola had him play with the first team prior to the season and decided he wanted Green to stay so they could integrate him into the first team throughout the season. So Pep Guardiola nixed his loan deal to keep him at Bayern.

        So you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • Funny way to integrate a player into the first team by not even giving him a spot on the bench except for the very first game of the season.

      • Or the Club World Cup.

        He trained with the first team several times during the year when he could.

        And they rewarded him with a few minutes playing during the Champions League when they had the match wrapped up.

        That’s exactly what integration looks like at major clubs.

      • no, that’s a very reasonable way to integrate a prospect into the first team. he’s training with them, assimilating into the team style, and learning how to play alongside the other players.

        i’m not sure if that will eventually be better for green’s development than getting bundesliga experience at hamburg, but i guess that’s why pep makes the big money.

      • Plus one thing that I think US fans are overlooking regarding Greens PT at Bayern is this: All of Peps decisions don’t revolve around just Green. He’s gotta distribute playing time among first team players that could start on 99% of the clubs around the world and keep them happy also… He’s loaded with depth and talent.. and wants to keep people

      • Yes, you are right.

        Not sure what people expect… as Green breaking into the first team permanently would also mean Guardiola moving one of the following people away or down.

        Frank Ribery
        Arjen Robben

        Good luck with that, kid.

      • And as we see, Julian did tons of integrating this year. He had a run-out in a Champions League game, but no real action with the first team.

        The kid is young, so I’m not saying that means his career is over, but there’s a bit of sensationalism surrounding him that isn’t entirely deserved.

      • The sensitivity and anger of the Julian Green cheerleader squad is pretty spectacular to behold. Sadly, we have to put up with this every day on this site now.

    • Yes, although several posters on here have said he is the most accomplished striker in the USMNT pool (despite not really accomplishing much to the point), he’s still a ways away from seeing regular time for Bayern. A promising prospect but still just a prospect, whose future super stardom is by no means certain.

      • “several posters on here have said he is the most accomplished striker in the USMNT pool”

        haven’t seen that (although i have seen claims of his
        superlative ‘talent’). got quotes, or are you just making stuff up again?

      • Er, hes not wrong there. Some people got a bit excited. It might have been like one or two non-regulars but it did happen.

        I actually found some of the Regionalliga Bayern highlights. They have like a match of the day for that league. A canadian plays for Ausberg II as a striker. I learned… not much. Bayern II have really crappy defenders. Schweinsteiger has a brother.(32?) Green is fast.(I didn’t see anything that stood out as amazing. He takes some nice shots but… no general play as its highlights.)

      • I was heavily involved in those threads. No, not one person said he’s “the most accomplished” and no one has him starting.

        Some guys like Slow got blasted on all fronts (Green IS an exciting player, and he IS a legit American). But, being both wrong and, *ahem* “strong willed” *cough* they’re revising the argument. Thank you, come again.

      • That’s not accurate. I’m not going to go back and find the posts, since (like most of us I assume) I’m at work and have other things to do, but they most certainly occurred.

      • i didn’t say he was wrong. i just haven’t seen anyone say he’s our “most accomplished striker”, and slowleftarm has knowingly bent the truth in the past, so i didn’t know if this was the same thing.

        and i agree with you: people should maybe slow down a bit.

      • Nate, that’s complete nonsense and you know it. Why do you need to personally attack people who disagree with you?

      • I’m glad someone else recalls the posts on this site. Nate loves personal attacks and calling people liars when they don’t agree with him. He’s also super sensitive about Julian Green!

      • ah yes, now asking for sources is considered “personal attacks”. (hey, tell me again how green has only ever played in the regionalliga? or does that count as another “personal attack”?)

        and i am sensitive about lying, whether the lies are about kids like julian green or @ssholes like jose mourinho.

      • So a poster said the US-Mexico game will be unlike any experience Green ever had and I wrote back yes, because he’s only ever played in fourth division games. So because I didn’t mention Green’s 2 minute UCL cameo, Nate says I’m a liar.

        Nate, you are truly a sad person, so intolerant of disagreement – regarding a game no less – that you have to engage in personal attacks. You must be a real pleasure to be around in real life. And I wonder how you react when people disagree with your politics! There must be some real fireworks then!!

      • Nate, why is this so important to you? Why are you so intolerant of different viewpoints and opinions? I feel bad for you – how do you get through life on a daily basis like this?

      • jesus. you seem so reasonable in your other comments (although i often disagree with you); how are you not getting that it’s not that we disagree–it’s that you knowingly stated something that wasn’t true?

      • Nate,

        He lies indiscriminately and thinks you are not allowed to call him on it. When you do, he’ll accuse you of being angry and not tolerant.

      • @jack del

        well, that’s the thing: i’ve seen his comments for years, and i don’t get that impression from him. at all.

        i starting to think it’s either a really dedicated impostor, or he’s just having a bad day.

      • and i’m not sad; i actually love disagreement. i just don’t like it when people resort to lying to make a point–i think it weakens what might otherwise be a valid argument.

      • My comment was not lying. In an offhand jokey comments, I’m supposed to preface my remark but also mentioned the meaningless 2 minute cameo in a CL game? That’s your basis for then calling me a “liar.”

        You “love disagreement”? In other words, you’re a pure troll. Again, you are in desperate need of a life.

      • i actually think you’re the one getting bent out of shape. i don’t think i ever called you a ‘liar’, because, to me, that would imply that someone does it all the time, and i don’t know that you do. i asked if you were ‘making stuff up again’, because, you know, you’d done it before.

        and what’s with the personal attacks? are you sad?

      • With the rise of online communications, I think that it’s becoming increasingly necessary to mainstream the usage of punctuation marks to indicate sarcasm and other easily missed aspects of communication that substantively change the meaning of the things we say. In a face-to-face conversation, it’s usually easy to tell based on tone of voice when a comment is meant sarcastically or whether someone is being serious, and therein lies the heart of the issue being contended here.

        Nate, you appear to have adopted a very literal interpretation of what could easily have been meant as a sarcastic statement.

        Slow, you didn’t frame your statement in a way that made your intent clear enough to disallow this kind of ambiguity on the readers’ part.

        You’re both pretty. Let’s move on. No need for name-calling. I, for one, think Nate asking for evidence to substantiate a claim is perfectly appropriate and reasonable.

        Regarding Julian Green, as of today he is nowhere near the “most accomplished” attacking player in the USMNT pool – but at the moment, it appears that he might potentially have the highest ceiling to his ability and talent of any attacker the USMNT has ever had. However, just because the ceiling is high doesn’t mean that he will necessarily reach it. Let’s hope, for USMNT’s sake, that he does, and that Pep starts giving him minutes in the now-meaningless games left in the remainder of Bayern’s season so that he can gain invaluable first-team experience and continue to grow (rapidly) as a player.

      • Well, let’s just be honest, he is more talented than most of our strikers. He’s certainly talented enough to play for the USA and make an impact, Bayern Munich though, is just a little bit harder to crack in my opinion. He isn’t there yet, barring injuries to the squad.

        When you see Green in a US shirt, and you see his touch and Johannson’s touch against Jozy and Eddie, you will see why he belongs.

      • That’s interesting. Have you ever seen him play in a game? Jozy scored 30 goals in Holland last season, this kid scored a few goals in the fourth division. Sure, one day, he might be better, but that day is not today.

      • Don’t be too sure of that slowleft, You say Green is not better than Johannson today. I know 2 April is not today but it is only one week away.

      • I get you love this kid but players have to prove it in games before you can make statements like that. He hasn’t. If he’s better, we’ll find that out eventually. Stop rushing things. Every new player becomes the next savior with USMNT fans.

      • I’ve seen him flash his ability, not in the 4th division but in friendlies and training videos. You put him out there, forgetting club history and form, and he will beat out lesser players. The question is whether or not the coach values the past or the present and future. If he’s the fastest forward with the best feet, what good reason do you have not to let him play?

      • I disagree with slow on a lot of things (well one thing, at least) but he’s 100% correct here.

        People really have already called green the best attacking player in the pool.

        All based on:
        – 3 minutes in a champions league match when bayern had already clinched top of the group
        – being named to the roster of the club world cup
        – highlights from first team friendlies (friendlies!)
        – vague praise from the bayern front office

        And in case anyone missed it, grant wahl reported that green himself doesn’t expect to train with the bayern first team again until summer.

  10. Not a mention that Bayern completed 1004 out 1078 passes? Is that not some sort of crazy record by itself? For either percentage or passes completed in a game?

  11. So instead of the UEFA teams playing teams from other confederations on friendly dates, they’ll be playing each other more?

    Am I missing something or should I think this is a bad idea for everyone?

    • Great idea for them.

      They now have a THIRD international tournament where they get to practice against the world’s best and introduce younger players to the team.

      Also, $$.

      • I think this may burden the established starters even more; they are playing more meaningful games that they’ll need to win. Bad for the young guys, and less rest for the vets.

      • Possible.

        They are playing at this friendly window already, so maybe now that it’s serious tournament, coaches will use it to get good minutes for more fringe players.

    • Wouldn’t this also mean that UEFA teams will no longer have open friendly dates to play teams from outside UEFA?

      So no more USMNT friendlies against European nations?

      Seems like that would be a negative for top teams from other regions that want quality opposition on friendly dates. Get ready for the US to play Mexico 4 times a year.

    • Well, the South American nations boosted their level gratly with their exhausting qualifying format due to the increased competitivity; however I do not see this working for Europe.

      The Euro/WC offer is enough, if this competition were to be placed instead of any of those it might have a better chance but in it’s current proposed format, sounds like useless saturation, like that not-the-real-one African Nations Championship.

  12. Obscenities were hurled at the Great Sir Alex yesterday. Fans went after Moyes and tried to tear down a banner proclaims him to be “The Chosen One.” There is no hope of a top-four finish, and with RVP out and Bayern coming up, there is no hope of winning the UCL. Surely this is the time to open the sack. Fire Moyes today, write off this season as a cruel joke and start looking for a competent manager and a few transfer candidates (who must be willing to sacrifice a year of European Cup football). Fire Moyes Now!

    • Well Sir Alex handpicked the guy, I’m not sure who you replace him with unless you go back to Ferguson. One year without silverware isn’t the end of the world.

    • Wow, 20 years of pretty much winning everything and then this hysterical overreaction after one year in the doldrums? I’m sure “William the Terror” would have been running Sir Alex out of town in the late 80’s too.

      Man U needs a complete overhaul. The midfield and defense is distinctly lacking in quality and they need to figure out how the combo of Rooney, Mata and RVP is going to work.

      • Well, at that time, he was not yet “Sir” Alex. Moreover, he had already taken Aberdeen to multiple SPL titles and the European Cup Winner’s Cup (which was renamed the Vhampions League), beating both Bayern and Real Madrid in the process. Let me repeat. He did this with ABERDEEN, a club much smaller than Everton, from whence Moyes arrived. So, I would have given Sir Alex a little leeway, as he had a proven track record. Moyes has never won anything and likely never will.

        And it is hardly a hysterical overreaction. Not winning silverware in a season is no big deal. Being so poor that you don’t qualify for Europe is a very big deal.

        Fire the Mouse.

      • You mean what was called the UEFA Cup and now is known as the Europa League. European Cup=Champions League, not the Cup Winner’s Cup. Get your facts straight…

      • True. Doesn’t change the fact that Ferguson was already a proven winner. Nor does it change the fact that Moyes is inept.

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